The year was 1998. That was the year that I decided to ride by bicycle partway around the world. I was twenty years old and my best friend and I decided we needed an adventure. My friend Russ had already done a bit of traveling and we had both cycled locally but I had never taken on anything like this before. In fact I had only been out of the United States one-time prior. After months of planning, applying for visas, booking planes and deciding on those few items that would fit in our bike bags, we set out to start our trip in Fiji.
For the next eight months we rode our bikes through Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and Thailand. We rode through jungles, deserts, dirt roads, busy freeways, 120 degree weather and torrential rains. We met people who told we were crazy and received endless stares, yet we also met many people who welcomed us and gave us endless encouragement.
Saying the journey was hard is an understatement, the experience stirred in me a determination and strength I had no idea I had. The trip showed me that even though we come from different parts of the world people are more similar than they are different. It showed me that if I set my mind, my will and my passion to a task then most anything is possible. I came back from that trip a changed person. Since then when I have encountered hardships I look back on that trip, remember my strength, and realize that I can get through it.
Positive aging comes in many forms and at different times. The important thing is to keep moving…even if it is not halfway around the world.